The End of the World Is Nigh

Image by swanksalot via Flickr

So evangelical broadcaster Harold Camping said that the end of the world happened last Saturday. Big whopping surprise, we’re all still here even though the Rapture was supposed to happen! I’ve got just one beef with the prophecy: In the most famous chapter regarding the end of the world, Jesus says flat out that nobody knows the time, only the Father knows! (See Matt. 24:36)  It aggravates me and makes me laugh at the same time to read about this stuff. Atheists had Rapture parties here and there to mock this guy, and I was tempted to go join them! It breaks my heart for them that one day all this will happen for real, we just don’t know the date. There will be no rapture parties then…

So much silly stuff is done in the name of God, but sadly, so much evil has been done in the name of God and Christianity, as well. I just want to say one thing. We are not those people.

When a Koran was burned in Florida and people died in the Middle East, we weren’t there lighting up the match. We were too busy working to make our Sunday morning a safe place where hurting people could come and find Jesus. When a pastor of a church of 50 spews hatred that is completely against the will of God, we in the millions disagree with him completely. We believe what the Bible says about loving God and loving people, even our enemies.

When terrorists kill civilians to forward their agenda of a totalitarian, religious world, we are not those people. We are too busy finding ways to feed the poor, put an arm on the shoulder of someone who just lost a loved one and going into prisons to love those society has rejected. We don’t yearn for a takeover of the world, we long for the healing of this hurting world through love. That’s who we are.

When the Crusades were happening, we hadn’t been born. Those who took the Word of God almost a thousand years ago (Time to move forward, anyone?!) and used it to kill those who didn’t believe in it were doing the will of our enemy, not the will of God. We are not those people. There’s a big difference between living your life for God and using His name to do what you wanted to do all along. Just because someone takes the Honda sign and puts it on an old Buick, it doesn’t magically turn an old beater into a fancy and dependable car. You need the heart of the car – the engine – too. Claiming God’s name over your actions doesn’t automatically make you godly.

When the 20th century was lit ablaze by world wars, communism and totalitarianism, they were all caused by secular tyrants and movements. The evil they perpetrated was based on principles that were completely contrary to what God’s Word says.  True believers were busy alleviating the suffering on both sides, and some even died for doing it. Dietrich Bonhoeffer stands as a towering testimony of courage from those days. Some in the church committed a grave sin by their silence. They were scared for their own lives and stayed silent when they should have stood up for what is good and right. That’s not what God wants from us, either. We are not perfect, we are just saved. I fall short from the ideal on a daily basis, but I keep trying…

Yes, so much evil is done in the name of God, but if people become like God in their own minds and use His name to do their evil, it still doesn’t make God bad. It makes those people bad, and we are not those people. God is who he says he is. He is good, He is loving and kind, and He is also just. He will deal with those who do evil in His name and reward those who live for Him. As a matter of fact, He will deal with all of us! What do you choose?

  1. Joybird says:

    heart of the car…nice, good analogy. And people sinning in God’s name doesn’t make God bad, this is a nice point too. Tough part is that we who claim His name are His reps. I guess that’s why Jesus says they will know you are my disciples (the real deal) by your love for one another.

  2. Petri Nauha says:

    So true, Joy! I think that’s our path, a lifelong journey of learning what it truly means to love God and others. Even those who are “unlovable” (if such a person even exists, since it’s our choice, not theirs!), like Jesus did…

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